By Julie Reed
“He determines the number of stars and calls them each by name. Great is the Lord and mighty in power, his understanding has no limit.” Psalm 147:4-5
We just returned from a fabulous summer vacation visiting family in North Carolina. We spent two weeks rafting, taking evening walks, gobbling up the fresh blackberries off the trail, and watching for fireflies in the woods.
We’d enjoy our dinners out on the porch listening to the waterfall and comical family chats and stories while hummingbirds buzzed past our heads. Amongst all the jammed packed adventure and family fun, I needed some quiet time for myself. I knew that I needed some time alone to renew my mind and spirit. My parents graciously agreed to watch the kids for a bit so that I could re-charge.
It wasn’t that I didn’t want to spend every moment I could with my family, but the daily duties of being a single mom wear on me, if I’m honest. Sometimes I feel like running away or shipping the kids off to my parents for a few weeks just so I can breathe. Don’t get me wrong. I love my kids. I’m honored to be there mom. It’s just that occasionally I get in a pile of pity and wallow around with my giant “W” on my chest for widow. I figure this isn’t what I signed up for when I took my vows. It shouldn’t have to be this way.
So, I slipped away one evening out to the deck for some peace and quiet. All that could be heard were the katydids humming a joyful tune in the darkness. I sat on the deck with tears falling down my face and wondering how Satan could have such a stronghold on me still. How could he subtly creep in and rob me of the joy and happiness I should be feeling?
I began to pray. Asking God to help me let go. To help me live in the here and now. To give me some peace, some comfort, some sign that He hears me. That He cares about me still. That He hadn’t forgotten about this sad, lonely widow.
I sat in silence for a few minutes. The katydids didn’t even make a peep. They were probably terrified that I was about to feel the wrath of God for being so bold to ask Him such things. A gentle breeze blew across my face. I opened my eyes and looked up at the heavens. The sky was pitch black and the stars twinkled so brightly and clearly. It felt as though I could reach up and pluck them from the sky. A smile crossed my face and the words to one of my favorite songs came to mind.
He numbers each and every star and calls them all by name.
He counts them one by one to see that they are still in place.
If He cares for every star, then He sees right where you are.
You can trust you’ll never fall from His embrace.
So what can separate you from the precious love of God?
Who could every come against His strong and perfect love?
So when you’re in the valley and your nights are cold and lonely.
The darkest hour is just before the dawn.
Remember nothing can separate you from God’s love.
Every star…every star. Scientists estimate that there are 100 thousand million stars in the Milky Way and millions upon millions in other galaxies. But I still matter more to Him. He loves me right where I am. Valley or mountain top, He loves me the same.
Nothing can separate me from His love. Not death. Not sadness. Not fear. Not loneliness. Not the stresses of motherhood. Nothing can keep Him from loving me.
How about you, sweet sisters? Do you struggle with believing you matter? That he hears and sees you?
Will you join me this week in the backyard hammock staring at the evening sky and thanking Him for seeing right where we are? I’ll say a prayer for you for every star I see. Will you do the same for me?